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Who needs lens hoods??

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    This week's poll is inspired by reader Norman Dyson, who writes

    I have bought a number of lenses over the years, all with lens hoods and I have never used any of them. I have always managed to shield the lens from any flare by using a convenient shadow or by cupping my hand round the lens. For contre-jour photographs hoods are ineffective anyway. Hoods make the lens bigger and a bit more inconvenient to pack (yes, I know about reversing them on the lens). So they all end up in my box of bits.

    So, do you use a lens hood, or do you think they are a waste of time too?

    Head to the home page to let us know what you think.

    Thanks again

    damien
     
  2. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    The most important lens accessory, both to keep out unwanted light and as lens protection. Some of the ones sold with the lenses (zooms in particular) are ineffectual (but pretty :) ). Best to experiment with something a bit bigger and deeper for all but the wide end of zooms.
     
  3. bdr2

    bdr2 Well-Known Member

    I'm never without one! I'm even looking at buying a self-supporting bellows hood for one on my lenses.

    My Dad bought a 70-300 for his EOS 30D recently and I advised him to get the hood for it. It seems that Canon have been out of stock for at least the last couple of months (according to WE). Other makes supply hoods with their lenses, it's a shame Canon can't get their act togeather and do the same (as indeed they do for their L lenses). It can't add much to the production cost to chuck in a cheap plastic hood!
     
  4. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    Don't use them all the time but they're always in the camera bag and are invaluable when conditions dictate, either to prevent flare or to protect the lens.
     
  5. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    I've never used one in my life :eek: If I get sun at the wrong angle I just stick my hand out to hold it back...
     
  6. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

    I always use one unless I'm using filters (Cokin P type).
     
  7. zx9

    zx9 Well-Known Member

    I use them all the time on my SLRs, they offer some physical protection as well as protection from none image forming light. For into the light shots on the G9, as Erm says, I use a strategically placed hand.
     
  8. Simon E.

    Simon E. Well-Known Member

    I'd suggest they can be particularly useful on prime lenses, like my single coated Zuikos. I often keep hoods attached, it saves messing with lens caps - I can just reach in the bag or a pocket (most OM primes are really small) and swap lenses quickly.

    I saw a TV programme on Devon chronicler James Ravilious on BBC4 last week, and his wife described how he used to meticulously modify lens hoods with black tape so he could use pre-war Leica lenses for their shadow detail but still not get loads of flare when the sun was anywhere near the edge of the frame.
     
  9. Ellie527

    Ellie527 Well-Known Member

    I almost always use a lens hood. Olympus supplies them with the lenses, so I didn't need to buy them separately.
     
  10. turbulentwheat

    turbulentwheat Well-Known Member

    When I got my first and only lens hood (supplied) I thought great no flare but more often than not I had a shadow cast instead! More effective I think is making your own. I use black card at the appropriate angle or when I'm up to it, roll it into wide cylinder shape. It could be there are some very good hoods out there but I havent got one of those so I improvise. Most of the time however I dont use a hood of any kind.
     
  11. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    I'd suggest that you have a hood not matched to the lens or it isn't put on correctly. In 35+ years of photography, I've always used lens hoods and never had a problem with them.
     
  12. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    I am amazed by this. People often go to great lengths to get good photographs and spend a fortune on equipment to get 'the best' but are quite happy to not bother with a lens hood or feel that they can hold a camera steady enough with one hand while using the other to shield the lens from the sun.

    Using a lens without a lens hood is like casual sex without protection!
     
  13. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    Like David I'm amazed that this should even be discussed.

    MickLL
     
  14. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Me too!

    To reiterate, the main use for a lens hood is to prevent light from hitting the front lens element from the sides!

    Obviously if the light source is actually in the frame nothing will help. It's the spurious light from all out of frame sources, of which you may not be so aware, which degrades contrast and colour saturation.

    Use a lens hood :)
     
  15. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Well-Known Member

    Most of my Leica lenses have integral lens hoods that just slide out, so no hassle.
     
  16. parisian

    parisian Well-Known Member

    It isn't April the first is it?
    Anti-flare, a damn sight more protection than a filter that we have so many discusions on - AND recommended by the manufacturers who probably know a little more about the lens performance than we do.
    The question ranks alongside the search for the mythical long, fast zoom at under £200 - plain daft!
     
  17. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    It would be interesting to see what this reader produces. It's one thing to say you don't bother but where are his stunning images that back up his claims that he can get away without lens hoods.

    I think this bit summed it up well "Hoods make the lens bigger and a bit more inconvenient to pack" - it all comes down to convenience and a touch of can't be bothered. He probably hasn't got a tripod either (too big and bulky to carry around no doubt).

    Yes, you can take photos without lens hoods and probably a lot of people wouldn't know what a loss of contrast or flare is. This statement says more about the photographer than it does about the benefit of lens hoods.
     
  18. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member


    Under some circumstances I use the techniques mentioned (a handheld card or the shadow of my hand) as well as a lens hood.

    I can't remember the last time I used any of my lenses without the hood fitted.

    MickLL
     
  19. Dave_Cox

    Dave_Cox Well-Known Member

    The only time I don't use a lens hood is on old cameras where I haven't managed to find one that fits! Even for indoor still-lifes there's a hood on the lens to stop any stray light from getting into the frame. Goes under the heading of 'essential'.
     
  20. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    Well I think you're probably right. However photography isnt the be all and end all of my life, its just a bit of fun and once I start adding more and more accessories and rules to it it becomes less and less fun :(

    I am never gonna produce a masterpiece and 90% of the time Im just buggering about on my S3. If something nice comes out of it great, if it doesnt, no loss.

    But I guess most amateur photographers are not like me and want to be constantly striving for The Best, whatever that may be.
     

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